Pavel Büchler: Studio Schwitters

13 Oct 2010 – 13 Nov 2010

Max Wigram Gallery

London, United Kingdom


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  • Bond Street / Oxford Circus

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Strange unintelligible computerized speech emits in unison from seventy-five horn speakers fixed across the expanse of the wall. On a table close by, a lone horn leads the chorus. Studio Schwitters is Pavel Büchler's homage to Dada artist Kurt Schwitters sound poem, The Ursonate, his ‘primal sonata' or conception of what a sonata would have looked like and sounded before the invention of language. Using a digital German speech programme, Büchler made it read the entire text of The Ursonate, impressively producing its own alien interpretation of Schwitters' original twenty-one minute sung version of the sonata. The programme resolutely mashes The Ursonate's very classical structure, radically changing content and structure, and extending the piece to thirty-nine minutes. Considered by many to be one of the most influential and important great sound poems of the twentieth century, The Ursonate, has been reinterpreted by sound artists around the world. Schwitters' own recording of it was lost for many years, finally turning up in Holland in the late 1980s. Pavel Büchler describes his work as ‘making nothing happen', considering art as a catalyst to reveal the everyday and the obvious as ultimately bizarre. He manipulates literature, found objects, old audio recordings and photographs, obsolete technologies and other media, making it relevant to the present.


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